towhatend Posted February 9, 2010 Report Share Posted February 9, 2010 Dark Horse - Not the main favored candidate. Someone somewhat unknown who exceeds expectations of all others in an event. An appropriate definition from the always reliable and humorous urbandictionary.com in this thread we will discuss the dark horses of each division. Lightweight - Evan Dunham - An underdog in his last two fights, Dunham truly experienced his coming out party at Fight Night 21 in January. He nearly tore off Escudero's arm in the process of keeping his undefeated record and put himself on the map. Welterweight - Paulo Thiago - Yes his first round stoppage of Koscheck was one of the biggest upsets of 2009, but his last fight against Swick cemented Thiago as a contender to be reckoned with at 170. When you sport a 3-1 record in the UFC and Vegas odds only had you winning one of those fights, you're doing a helluva good job. With his sturdier and more defined frame, look for Thiago to have a breakout year in 2010. Middleweight - Chael Sonnen - Okami would be in this spot if Sonnen hadn't demolished him at 104. Simply put, Sonnen Okamied Okami. He didn't give him room to breathe, he outworked him and he won a ridiculously impressive decision. He then managed to do the same thing to Marquardt, and quite frankly I'm still trying to adjust my jaw back to its normal height because Sonnen's performance dropped it several inches. Winning clear cut decisions in his last two fights in matches he was a 4-to-1 and 5-to-1 underdog in, respectfully, puts this potential number one contender in the dark horse spot at middleweight. Light Heavyweight - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - the hardest division to pick, I'm giving the spot to Lil Nog simply because a lot of American (read: UFC fanboys) have no clue who this guy is. If his destruction of Cane didn't prove it, most fighters at 205 trying get a title shot would be crazy to try and use this guy as a stepping stone. After all, why do you think he is fighting Griffin next? No one else wants this guy. He will be a handful for anyone in the division. Heavyweight - Stephan Struve - so he got knocked out in his first fight by dos Santos (it happens) and won an arguably controversial decision against everyone's favorite fighter/forum poster, but in between the bookends of Struve's 3-1 UFC career are two insanely impressive submission victories. From bleeding like a stuffed pig and sinking in a gritty rear-naked at 99 to setting up a picture perfect triangle at 104 Struve is turning into a very well-rounded mix martial artist. With a win over Big Country he really makes a huge name for himself amongst the casual fan. As usual comments and responses with your own opinions are welcome. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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